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The article by Jason Sokol, Jackie Robinson’s Life Was No Home Run for Racial Progress, is one that links the story of Jackie Robinson, the first African American to play in Major League Baseball, to modern day racial issues. Sokol states that the Jackie Robinson saga was not only a step forward for diversifying baseball, but a symbol of the back and forth battle between racial progress and racism. Freedom is ultimately the goal for Americans, but unfortunately it has not been gained by many citizens even now. African Americans still face poverty and unnecessary violence enforced by police officers.
Going back to the Robinson era of American life, similar issues were present, though racism was more blatant. Despite Robinson’s success on the ballfield, African Americans had to put up with the housing segregation and discrimination which led to black ghettoes. Sokol states that “Robinson’s own family experienced the inequities first-hand. Jackie Robinson learned that it was one thing to integrate the national pastime, and quite another to desegregate white towns and neighborhoods.” The inequality experienced by the Robinson’s was mainly fierce housing discrimination. For instance, when they had found a house at last, they “offered the asking price, waited for weeks, and were told that the price would be raised by $5,000.” This obvious act of racism was normal at the time and was used to keep black people from being able to buy houses in white neighborhoods. The story of the Robinsons, Sokol tells, is the harsh reality of race relations in this country. He states that cheering on black baseball players or celebrities isn’t enough to solve the conflict and discrimination forced upon African Americans still to this day. Sokol advises that to truly take steps forward, American citizens need “to stop the rising tide of mass incarceration and police brutality . . .” If we can achieve that, Sokol contends that we will be able to make true progress and break down the barriers that are keeping African Americans from reaching the freedom to feel safe and welcome everywhere in this country (Sokol).
Sokol, Jason. “Jackie Robinson’s Life Was No Home Run for Racial Progress.” 15 July 2015. http://time.com/3942084/jackie-robinson-racial-progress/. Date accessed: 30 October 2018.
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What do you think we can do to make racial progress happen?
Why did people discriminate against Robinson and his family in spite of his fame?
What the difference between racial progress and racial inequality?
Will people get treated inequally even if they strive to be something better ?